Our relationship with beauty often drives our romantic relationships. The topic is sensitive, controversial and important.
When Anita and I were discussing the content of the book, we both knew that including a narrative on beauty, a piece that we could both stand behind, was important and, luckily for us, we didn’t have to go far to find our expert.
So much of The Dating GPS™ project is anchored in our relationships with people whom we have met during our lives’ curvy adventures. And Dr. Zelana Montminy is no exception.
When my parents and I first arrived in America, back in Fall of 1978, before moving to Skokie, where Anita and I met, we lived in Chicago’s public housing, nestled peculiarly in the Uptown neighborhood, near Lawrence, home to The Aragon, the Boys and Girls Club of America and, at the time, all the urban grit the economy of the late 1970′s provided.
One day, my Dad and I were walking down Broadway and we saw some men painting the outside of a local storefront. Whether we heard them speak Russian or them hear us, I don’t recall. But we met a nice man, also a Soviet immigrant, and he and my Dad exchanged contact information. Soon after, he, his wife and my parents got together and the painter’s wife also introduced us to her daughter, brother and sister-in-law. The sister-in-law and my Mom have been best friends since and, even during life’s uncertain moments, the kids make sure that our Moms continue their friendship. This is how happy accidents happen. This is how life moves forward.
The painter and his family eventually moved to California and shortly after had a second daughter, Zelana. Years later, back in the late 90′s, all three families converged in Mexico for a once-in-a-moment vacation and, as usual, the parents all hung out together reliving their memories all the while their daughters were making new ones.
Back then Zelana, still a teenager, already had a certain look to her: wherever we went, men and women noticed this pretty young lady, who carried herself with maturity and grace. As the week continued, and as I got to know her better, I realized that not only did Zelana have the physical features that drew attention, but, that, she also had a beautiful soul: kind, polite, funny, smart and full of joy. Even back then, I knew she’d be up to something amazing in her life.
“Professionally, my life’s calling is to inspire, educate and encourage people to live happier, healthier lives.” – Dr. Zelana Montminy
And, sure enough, over the past decade, she’s certainly proven this premonition. She’s since earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Psychology and, just this year, defended her thesis, earning her PhD in Clinical Psychology with a focus in Health. Additionally, she is a TV host on The PopSugar Network, where she interviews other health and beauty experts on ways we can all stay fit and feel pretty. That’s one of her gifts – she makes beauty accessible – and, at a time of mixed messages and celebrity pressure, Zelana’s consistent reassurance is, “Apply this in a way that makes most sense to your life, your needs and your priorities.”
“This is a unique and progressive take on relationships that’s fresh and exciting. I’m thrilled to be a part of such an important project focused on shifting negative perspectives of ourselves and our relationships.” – Dr. Zelana Montminy
Also a guest speaker, writer, producer and board member, and married for four years to her husband Joel, L.A. resident Zelana balances work, family and friends. Between flights to Paris to visit her sister and nephews, as well as hiking, yoga and cooking, she approaches life with a positive, grateful and, yes, beautiful, attitude.
“It’s not up to others to create our awareness and personal contentment – it’s up to us, and this book attempts to illustrate that in a fun and novel way.” – Dr. Zelana Montminy
We’re delighted that she’s on board and are excited about her contribution to The Dating GPS™ vision. Because if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then we are all in very good hands.